Squiz Today / 09 January 2024

Squiz Today – 9 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 8.30 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“If we set up an IQ-testing station at the border instead of a vehicle-testing station we’d probably halve our problems.” 

Said ACT Police Acting Inspector Mark Richardson of the “morons” he says are to blame for the bad behaviour at Summernats, a massive car festival hosted in the nation’s capital in early January. “They just literally come down here to see ‘how big of a pest can I be this week’,” he says. Just guessing, but we think Mark likes to play ‘bad cop’…

The rains are ‘ere

The Squiz

It’s been a very wet couple of days in big parts of Victoria with thunderstorms, heavy rain and flash flooding hitting southeastern Oz. Parts of central and northern Victoria experienced record-breaking rainfall yesterday – the town of Heathcote (about 110km north of Melbourne) copped 184mm in 24 hours. And Bendigo (about 40km northwest) had 92mm of rain – Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Michael Efron says that broke “another record with over 90 years of data”. Residents of Yea and Seymour were evacuated as floodwaters rose, and emergency service authorities have tipped that the regional cities of Wangaratta and Shepparton will see significant flooding in the coming days.

More rain is on the way?

Yep. Efron says central and eastern parts of Victoria are still in the firing line as a tropical air mass that’s moving across will continue to bring moderate to heavy rainfall – but things will clear up a bit as that storm front moves east. For those already affected, relief centres have been set up in Bendigo, Seymour, Yea and Echuca. At least 38 people have had to be rescued, while State Emergency Service volunteers responded to more than 1,200 calls for help by yesterday afternoon. Given that the risk to lives is still high, Premier Jacinta Allen has warned tourists and residents to keep an eye on emergency warnings before they travel anywhere. “Please do not drive through floodwaters,” she urged yesterday.

What’s happening elsewhere?

The unseasonable wet weather hit South Oz first, drenching parts of the state over the weekend before it intensified as it moved across to Victoria. And if it’s all sounding a bit steamy to you, you’re on the money… Efron says “the amount of moisture” moving across Victoria is “what you would normally see in somewhere like Queensland”. Speaking of the Sunshine State, the clean-up is continuing following the deadly back-to-back storms that have caused havoc there over the past fortnight. Power is still being restored to homes in the Gold Coast region after residents have suffered through 2 weeks without electricity. Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick says the total damage bill is at more than $2 billion and it could take years to rebuild…


Squiz the Rest

Feds crush Victoria’s windy dreams

Victoria’s plans for its first offshore wind farm have hit a serious setback with federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek rejecting plans for a key terminal at the Port of Hastings, south of Melbourne. She says it could cause “irreversible harm” to local marine, bird, and plant life. The area off the coast of Gippsland has already been declared the country’s first zone for offshore wind generators with most of the turbines meant to be set up about 20km off the coast. But without a port as a base for the operation, the project can’t proceed. Plibersek’s intervention has thrown a spanner in the works for Victoria to reach its target of 95% renewables by 2035. But the state’s Environment Minister Steve Dimopoulos says they will “digest the results of the decision and we’ll make [a decision] in relation to the next step.” 


Dangerous dance party overdoses

Eight people including a teenage girl are in critical condition after a mass drug overdose at a Melbourne music festival on the weekend. Ambulance Victoria says all appear to have taken MDMA (aka Ecstasy) and 7 had to be placed in induced comas and needed breathing tubes. The event was held at Flemington racecourse and pictures from social media on the night showed the 10,000 partygoers dancing in the venue along with complaints about the 32C heat. It’s renewed calls for pill testing in the state with the Ambulance Union’s Danny Hill saying “they have it in Queensland and the ACT… there’s probably a number of different models”.  But the state government is lukewarm on the idea saying it already spends millions trying to reduce drug harm at festivals and nightclubs.

Australian News

Iran’s not letting up on women

The rights of women (or rather, the lack of rights) in Iran have been in focus since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022 at the hands of the ‘Morality Police’. Huge protests followed, and the response was a violent crackdown by the authoritarian Islamic government which killed more than 500 people. Iran supposedly disbanded the group in charge of enforcing standards in December 2022 as a response to the protests, but international watchers were sceptical… There are more examples of women continuing to face punishments inside the country for failing to wear a hijab in public, including a decision by Iran’s judiciary on the weekend to give a woman 74 lashes “for violating public morals” by appearing “disgracefully in busy public places of Tehran”. Roya Heshmati has also been ordered to pay a fine for not wearing a hijab, according to her lawyer. After all that, eh…

World News

Aussies shine at the Golden Globes

Hollywood’s 2024 awards season is officially on, with Oppenheimer having a knockout night at yesterday’s Golden Globes. The most popular film about a physicist in recent memory won the award for Best Picture (drama), as well as best director (Christopher Nolan), best actor (Cillian Murphy), best supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr), and best score. Barbie didn’t get as many trophies, but it did take out the prize for ‘cinematic and box office achievement’. On the smaller screen, The Bear won best musical/comedy series, and Succession won for best drama series… And let’s not forget the Aussies: Sarah Snook’s Shiv Roy earned her the best actress award, and Elizabeth Debicki also took home a trophy for her take on Princess Diana in The Crown. Apart from the awards, The Bear star Ayo Edebiri gave 2024’s most relatable acceptance speech so far – and who could forget the fashion? Ok ok, here’s your red carpet gallery…

Australian News

Buying time in 2024

Not many people enjoy standing in a queue, so what about paying someone to do it for you? It seems this could become a real thing in 2024 with more and more of us sick of lining up for house inspections, tickets – or even to grab that fancy treat that’s just launched at a hot new patisserie. According to Airtasker, this really took off in 2022 when there were big waits in passport lines – and since then, paying people to wait in a queue for other reasons has taken off. One woman paid a gig worker $280 to queue up for some Insta-famous pastries in Sydney, while another forked out $233 to get someone in the virtual line for Taylor Swift tickets. Who said an Arts degree would come to nothing…


Apropos of Nothing

Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr’s ACL injury could cost her a $1 million/season contract with English club Chelsea – the first of its size in women’s soccer history. She could still get there so let’s not count her out, but she will be out of the sport for at least 6 months. 

And a couple of stray mutts have racked up an almighty damage bill at a Texas car dealership. The pair was captured scratching paint and tearing bumpers off cars after being lured into the yard chasing – you guessed it – a couple of stray cats. 

If you’ve got a mouse-in-the-house phobia then this little guy might just change your mind. A Welshman has captured a wee rodent tidying up his shed every night – moving odd bits and pieces he’s left lying around into a small box. Aww…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, November; Building approvals, November

A birthday for Catherine, Princess of Wales (1982)

Anniversary of:

  • Steve Jobs introducing iTunes (2001) and the first iPhone (2007)
  • the Sussexes making a shock announcement that they would “step back” as ‘senior’ members of the royal family (2020)
Squiz the Day

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